We all admire celebs for their style and charisma. They deeply impact our daily lives, and from dressing up like them and imitating the way they talk, many of us even name our own children after them. But most of us – and I’m quite confident saying this – don’t know the real names of the stars we regard highly and love so much! Though names have the least to do with one’s liking and admiration, in the end they are the greatest signature of our remembrance. Many Bollywood stars we admire and are fond of have actually adopted new names before beginning their celluloid careers. Here are top 10 celebrities who changed their real names after entering into Bollywood.
10. Mallika Sherawat:
With a distinct reputation for her good looks and stunning dance performances, Mallika has secured the reputation of being one of India’s most hot actresses. Her real name is Reema Lamba and is now she is the ‘Mallika’ (Queen) of the Indian entertainment industry.
9. Mahima Chaudhary:
A model and actress of Nepali origin, Mahima entered Bollywood with Pardes in 1997. She received a Filmfare Award in the category of Best Female Debut for the same movie. Her real name is Ritu Chaudhary. Director Subhash Ghai gave Mahima her name. Most of the hit movies of his career had casted heroines whose names began with “M” – Madhuri Dixit, Manisha Koirala and so on.
8. Saif Ali Khan:
Popular as Nawab Khan, Saif Ali Khan made his debut in Parampara, a film by Yash Chopra in 1992. He became successful and popular after ‘Main Khiladi tu Anari’ in 1994. He changed his name from Sajid Ali Khan to Saif Ali Khan.
7. Preity Zinta:
The small town girl from Himachal and now a successful actress in Bollywood, Preity Zinta is known for her cool, bindas attitude. Like other film stars, she changed her name from Preetam Zinta Singh to Preity Zinta. Well, a pretty name Preity!
6. Sunny Deol:
Popularly known as ‘Action King of Bollywood,’ Sunny Deol is one of the most successful actors of Hindi Cinema. Besides acting, Sunny has been able to establish himself as a producer and director. His real name is Ajay Singh Deol and it was while entering the film industry that he changed it to Sunny Deol.
5. Katrina Kaif:
Often referred to as Kat, Katrina Kaif is a successful model and actress. She started her career in South Movies before making her debut in Bollywood and today she is one of the leading actresses of Bollywood. Her real name is Kate Turquotte which she changed specifically (and rightly!) for her career in the showbiz.
4. Akshay Kumar:
A successful actor who’s done over a hundred Hindi movies, Akshay Kumar needs no introduction. The real name of this Bollywood ‘Khiladi’ is Rajiv Bhatia and he is believed to have changed his name for film industry only.
3. Ajay Devgan:
One of the top ten actors of Bollywood, Ajay Devgan is also a successful director and producer. Taking a thrilling professional start from Phool Aur Kante in the year 1991, Ajay has won many awards till date. Having played diverse roles throughout his career, today Ajay is listed as one of the most versatile actors of our times. He changed his name from Vishal Devgan for films only.
2. Salman Khan:
Internationally popular for his iconic physique and star-appearance, Salman Khan is one of the most popular actors in Bollywood. The real name of Dabangg Khan is Abdul Rashid Salim Khan.
1. Dilip Kumar:
The ‘Tragedy King’ of Hindi Cinema, Dilip Kumar entered Bollywood with Jwar Bhata, his debut film in 1944. With over 60 memorable films, his career spanned more than six decades. He changed his name from ‘Muhammad Yusuf Khan’ after entering Bollywood.